Senate District 8 candidate Ken Brenner wants to hear about gas prices |

Senate District 8 candidate Ken Brenner wants to hear about gas prices

Mike McKibbin
Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” High gasoline prices along the Interstate 70 corridor in Garfield and nearby counties should be investigated by the Colorado Senate, according to the Democratic candidate for Senate District 8, Ken Brenner.

His Republican opponent, state Rep. Al White of Hayden, called such a move a “cheap campaign trick to garner attention to his campaign.”

The Senate district includes Western Garfield County.

Brenner, a former Steamboat Springs city councilman, said he wants to know why gas delivered on the I-70 corridor by the same trucks that deliver gas to stations in Grand Junction costs 46 to 63 cents more per gallon than the lowest prices in Grand Junction, and are also higher than the more isolated Steamboat Springs.

Brenner’s interest in the gas prices in Garfield County came after reading a story in the Post Independent about the soaring price of gas in the area.

“I want to hold fact-finding hearings after the election,” Brenner said. “We want to know if there has been price gouging going on, and I think this is critical to look into for the everyday citizen.”

He noted many residents drive 50 or more miles a day to and from work and have to pay much more for their gas than in years past.

“Why? Why such a disparity from Garfield County to Grand Junction to Steamboat Springs?” Brenner asked. “The price of a gallon of milk is pretty much the same in all those places, and there’s transportation involved with that, too.”

The Colorado American Automobile Club’s fuel price finder listed an area average gas price of $4.11 a gallon in Steamboat Springs through Wednesday, Aug. 20, compared to Rifle’s $4.18, Silt’s $4.13, Parachute/Battlement Mesa’s $4.24, New Castle’s $4.09 and Glenwood Springs’ $4.23.

Brenner said many comments on local gas prices have included that it’s always been that way and that when the price of a barrel of oil goes up, gas prices immediately rise, but then don’t immediately fall when oil prices drop.

White, who currently holds the House District 57 seat, said the higher gas prices in mountain counties has always occurred and advised Brenner to check with the state association of retail gas stations and suppliers to “clue him in” on price factors.

“I think it’s difficult to say there’s any price gouging going on,” White said. “If there were any collusion among gas stations, it would have to be so widespread that someone would have said they were at a meeting where everyone agreed to jack up the price by 30 cents a gallon or whatever.”

White said in response to the high gas prices, people are cutting back on their travel.

“I bought a little scooter that gets like 80 miles per gallon, and I use that whenever I can instead of my SUV,” he said. “I think people are developing permanent conservation methods, and we’ll probably see more of those types of emergency measures.”

Brenner and White are running for the Senate 8 seat being vacated by Republican Jack Taylor.

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